Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Sarah Oh Sarah

I wrote this up after reading the NYT op-ed on Sarah Palin this morning. After watching all of the media hoopla about her over the last few days, I'm starting to think that the media has it all wrong.

Choosing Palin is not about qualifications or even political views. It's about what she represents: a woman from the West with a strong marriage, small town values, who thoroughly believes in Jesus.

The NYT and other Eastern media sources have rightly found Palin wanting on substantive issues. But the public often doesn't vote on substance. It votes on who they like. In choosing Sarah Palin, McCain has found an Annie Oakley kind of figure that Americans find intrinsically appealing.

All Sarah Palin has to do is effectively deliver a 10 minute speech today and she and McCain are home free. Much of the American public doesn't care a hoot about qualifications or what the MSM says. They vote on the basis of their own eyes and ears. It doesn't matter if Palin is ignorant; until Hurricane Katrina, much of the voting public seemed to be proud that our current president is ignorant. With regard to Sarah Palin, all that matters is whether or not she is telegenic.

If this doesn't sound fair, I note that Obama managed to parlay a captivating 10 minute speech four years ago into a nomination in 2008. As a Democrat concerned with issues of substance, I wasn't happy to see this happen.

What are the chances that Sarah Palin can deliver tonight? If you've seen videos of her giving speeches in the past, you know the answer. She has excellent stage presence and has a first rate speechwriter working for her. After tonight, Sarah Palin will become a major problem for Obama in his hope to capture Western states like Nevada and Colorado.

It's worth noting that if Obama would have picked Clinton as VP, none of this would have ever happened. Obama has made this election a lot tougher than it should be.

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